POSTED: October 1st 2009

Obama's words make it to Copenhagen before he does

Michelle Obama: making an early start
Michelle Obama: making an early start

KEIR RADNEDGE in COPENHAGEN / Sports Features Communications

OCT 01: When President Barack Obama flies in to Copenhagen he will find not only that wife Michelle is making a powerful impression already on Chicago’s behalf but that the opposition has stolen his rhetoric.

Brazil’s President Lula was a case in point when he talked up Rio de Janeiro’s bid ahead of tomorrow’s IOC vote here.

Lula believes it is long overdue time that the Olympic movement reward Brazil’s strengths as the “only country among the 10 largest economies in the world which has never organised an Olympic Games.”

He acknowledged day-to-day realities by saying: “We are learning to do good things and correct the bad things. There’s a lot to be done in Brazil but we will do it and people understand that we are making for the misgovernments we have had for decades.”

Youth opportunity

Then he also reiterated another key Rio theme about an unprecedented opportunity for the Olympic movement to open its doors to the youth of South America for the first time.

Finally, he could not resist picking up that Obama them as he sounded Rio’s last rallying cry – not once but several times over just in case anyone missed the point.

Lula said: "‘Yes we can!’ sounds very pretty coming from an American mouth – and it’s not going to weigh on my shoulders if we do not win because I love democracy and people have the right to vote for one side or the other.”

“But,” he added, “no-one else has a project of this magnitude, quality and consistency. It’s a project through which we will overcome our limitations and show the world: Yes we can. We can do it.

“In Brazil we had been accustomed to say that we can not because we considered ourselves second-rate citizens. Now we are looking out at the world and saying: ‘Yes, we can!’ – and we will do it.”

Keywords · 2016 Olympic Games · Obama · Lula · Rio de Janeiro · Copenhagen

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